Kurt Masur (1927-2015) – with the sad news earlier this week on the passing of legendary Conductor Kurt Masur, the music world lost one of truly great artists of a grand tradition of music making.
Masur, who had a long career, was Kappelmeister of the fabled Leipzig Gewandhaus as well as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic as well as Orchestre National de France and Principle Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic and guest conductor of countless orchestras throughout the world.
A much loved and admired conductor, whose veritable treasure-trove of recordings has made him a household name with Classical Music lovers all over the world.
Masur began his career in Dresden and was very much part of the East German music establishment and his close association with the Leipzig Gewandhaus went from 1970 to 1996. Prior to that he was associated the Dresden Philharmonic as well as the Komishe Oper of East Berlin. It was after reunification that Masur’s international reputation took off.
This week it’s a concert from Paris in 2011, featuring Orchestre National de France in a short program of only two works: L’apprenti Sorcier by Dukas and Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Moussorgsky as orchestrated by Sergei Gortchakov.
Pot-boilers, to be sure – but in the hands of Kurt Masur, an exciting adventure and two pieces with a wide range of appeal. The concert was recorded live at Musèe d’Orsay on June 21, 2011 by the venerable Radio France Musique.
Masur died at his home in Greenwich, Connecticut on Saturday, December 19th from complications associated with Parkinson’s Disease, which he was diagnosed with in 2012 and which also curtailed his activities from that point on.
So by way of tribute, and the first of what I hope will be many concerts featuring his artistry in the coming months, here is that 2011 Concert via Radio France.